The Bookworm Beat — Another fabulous picture round-up from Caped Crusader (and Open Thread)

I honestly have no idea how Caped Crusader does this. Every day, he showers me with incredible images that I then get to pass on to you. Woot!!

This first one is my absolute favorite for the day, and maybe even for the week. I’ve been saying since the 1990s, when I first became aware of political correctness, that it filled that vacuum that manners once filled before the 1960s counter-culture came along. I didn’t know at the time, of course, that it filled that vacuum with pure Leftism.

PC is fascism masked as manners

Teach a man to fish

Hayek on emergencies

President Bush and a wounded warrior

Liz Warren and a rigged system

Obama's Lois Lerner bedtime story

PC is fascism masked as manners

More American hunters than standing armies

Real economic justice

Obedience is not patriotism

Hillary wants to control US budget

Churchill on socialism

Has it ever been more clear that Obama comes out of “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”?

Years ago, I likened Obama to the Robert Morse character in “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying” — he’s his own biggest fan, and believes in himself implicitly, all actual evidence to the contrary. Lately, Obama’s been even more in character:

The Bookworm Beat — August 25, 2014, look at last week (and Open Thread)

Woman writingI’ve had several articles saved on my browser since last week. All are still pertinent, and I’ve promised myself not to look at any new articles until I’ve shared these older ones first.

The enemy will televise the next war

James Taranto points out that, this time around when it comes to Iraq, no one is protesting the fact that Obama, slowly and reluctantly, is sending the military back. Anyone who’s been paying attention since 2009 would say that this is because Democrats only protest when Republican presidents go to war. That’s the easy answer, says Taranto. The reality is that even the hard-core Left, a faction that protests all wars by anyone, has been silent too. Taranto notes, riffing off a Peggy Noonan post, that even the usual suspects (such as ANSWER, the communist organization) are silent. He thinks that Ferguson is distracting them.

I think that there’s more going on than that, and this “more” is something that James Lewis nails. After pointing out how carefully the Leftist media has edited war coverage in the last many decades — showing American troops as both aggressors and victims, but showing communist or Islamist enemies only as victims, Lewis notes that, this time, the enemy has outed itself as an unusually malevolent aggressor:

The criminal monsters of ISIS like to show their killings on a social network called Diaspora, which is less controllable than Facebook or Twitter. The result is what critics call “war porn” – but it means that after six decades of monopoly control of the media by the left (and by Saudi and Qatari money), we are seeing the true horrors of the worst ideological murderers in the world.

Precisely. For the first time since World War II, Americans are allowed to understand that a blood-thirsty enemy is aiming its sights on us, and they are able to understand this fact because that same enemy proudly uses open-access media to show both its enmity to America and its blood-thirstiness. It’s hard, in light of ISIS’s own pride in its slaughters, for the Left to argue that any American engagement comes about because of “American aggression,” “American imperialism,” or a “war for oil.”

Self-defense and Jews

One of the interesting things about my dojo is the number of Jewish kids and adults there. We’re by no means a majority, but we’re represented in numbers greater than our small percentage of the American population.

With me as the only exception, all the Jewish families represented there are solid Progressives. Still, I think there must be some atavistic feeling amongst them that Jews need to learn self-defense.

With the rising tide of anti-Semitic attacks throughout the world, many of which aren’t bombs or knives, but are, instead, just one-on-one bullying attacks on individuals (Jewish) deemed too small and weak to help themselves, self-defense is the best answer. Jews should be armed, and Jews should know how to use close quarters martial arts.

I find support for my belief in Rabbi Aryeh Spiro’s contention that self-defense is a religious obligation:

We fight because self-defense is a mandate from the Bible — the Torah, called by many the Old Testament. We fight to defend life. Because life is precious, the ultimate, we must defend it. The very definition of self-defense is permission to kill the one who is coming toward you to kill you. Self-defense is not simply our right to pray or support with words, but do whatever is needed to stay alive and protect our families.

Those pacifists who are willing to personally die and would rather be butchered so as not to kill their butchers are free to so choose. But no one is allowed to demand or suggest that someone else allow himself to be killed so as to spare the life of the one presently doing murder.

A war to defend and stop those coming to kill you is a moral war. It is called a Just War. And we defend not only ourselves, we defend others. The Bible, the Torah that is, says, “Do not stand idly by while the blood our brother is being spilled”. We also have permission to kill those coming to rape a woman. The Bible, Old Testament, tells us so in Exodus. It is our obligation.

This is always a good time to remind everyone that the Biblical commandment is not “Thou shalt not kill” but is, instead, “Thou shalt not murder.” Murder is a deliberate peacetime act intended to terminate someone’s life for no other reason than the fact that it confers a benefit on the killer, whether material or emotional. Self-defense is a front-line weapon against murder. To the extent murder is prohibited, self-defense must be allowed.

The lack of shame isn’t just a black problem

Yesterday, I wrote that one of the most peculiar things to me about American blacks is that they so wholeheartedly embrace and advocate for sleazy, two-bit gangsters, such as Trayvon Martin or, it seems, Michael Brown. Blackness washes out all sins. There is no sense anymore of being an honorable community. Once you classify yourself as a victim, no one, including your fellow victims, should be allowed to demand of you any standards of morality or decency.

It turns out that this lack of shame isn’t limited just to American blacks. Tom Wilson points out that ordinary Brits seem singularly unimpressed that their determinedly multicultural, politically correct society keeps turning out Islamist mass murderers who kill both at home and, in increasing numbers, abroad:

Observers have warned that the British fighters for the Islamic State are among the most vicious and brutal, and yet there is no sense of shame or culpability gnawing away at the British soul, despite the havoc and terror that British jihadists are causing in Iraq and Syria. The news reporting is procedural, the politicians sound tired, apathy permeates the conversation every time the subject is raised. The only time that any flicker of alarm or interest can be detected is when it is pointed out that these people, hardened by battle and radical Islam, might return to Britain to continue their fight from the streets of British cities.

Read more here. (It may be behind a pay wall, but a Commentary subscription is relatively cheap and definitely worth the price.)

[And now, a brief word from blog management: I've installed new social media buttons that appear at the end of each post. If you use social media, and you like one of my posts, please consider sharing it. Increased readership is good for my ego and, to the extent I have advertising, good for my bottom line.  Also, as always, any payments to my tip jar would be much appreciated.]

Finally figuring Obama out

Do you know who is responsible for the shrillest, most nasty anti-Obama post I’ve seen in I don’t know how long? Maureen Dowd. She is clearly a woman whose god betrayed her and she is royally angry. She’s a good writer too when she’s that mad:

FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible — even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40-year-old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.

Dowd is not alone. Over at The New Republic, another true believer can be seen weeping over his keyboard. I mean, it’s pretty clear that a god has failed when you read this opening paragraph:

Why has Barack Obama—one of the most eloquent and thoughtful of recent presidents—become such a terrible politician? Midway through his sixth year in office, his ineptitude is pretty clear.

Yikes! That’s gotta hurt, or at least it would hurt if Obama ever left his bubble, one that Ed Lasky credibly argues sees him deliberately insulate himself from the world.

In Obamaland, there is no such thing as friendly, constructive criticism. If it comes from conservatives, they’re haters and can be ignored. If it comes from the base, they’ve become haters and can be ignored.

As I love to say, being a narcissist means never having to say you’re sorry. The world is composed of supporters and enemies, and anyone who isn’t actively, at this very minute, supporting you, is an enemy, to be disregarded or destroyed (or, preferably, both).

The first president from the TV generation

Jonah Goldberg thinks part of Obama’s problem could be that he’s the first TV generation president. He grew up watching TV and, indeed, likes to boast about the time he spends watching the hip, edgy shows that get such good press in Democrat House organs such as The New York Times or The New Yorker:

Does the president think the world is a TV show?

One of the things you learn watching television as a kid is that the hero wins. No matter how dire things look, the star is going to be okay. MacGyver always defuses the bomb with some saltwater taffy before the timer reaches zero. There was no way Fonzie was going to mess up his water-ski jump and get devoured by sharks.

There’s certainly a fantasist element in every malignant narcissist, since he is always his own superhero, constantly under attack from mere mortals. With this core outlook, TV Land’s paradigm — “the hero always wins” – would certainly mesh perfect with Obama’s character.

Big Shocker (NOT): TSA lies about flying illegals

The TSA was caught in a lie, and it was caught in a lie about very ugly subject: Contrary to earlier denials, the TSA is allowing illegal aliens to fly notwithstanding (a) their illegality and (b) their lack of ID.

Think about that for a moment: Even as you’re standing in endless lines, repeatedly showing your identification, struggling to get your shoes on and off, getting x-rayed, patted down, or strip searched, someone who crossed the border last week gets to show a letter and fly.

I’m sure these illegals are also getting their shoes searched, getting x-rayed, etc., but they’re still allowed to fly — God dammit! That’s just wrong. If the point of all the inconveniences forced upon us is safety, there’s nothing less safe than allowing someone whose first act upon entering America was to break the law, and who could easily be a terrorist or an Ebola carrier, to walk on the plane just by waving a letter.

The politics of doctors

In my neck of the woods, doctors are Democrats. This has always made perfect sense to me. Young doctors are educated to believe that they know what’s best for everybody and should call the shots.  (And certainly, you need a certain amount of arrogance to mess with people’s bodies.)  This makes doctors a natural Democrat constituency.

According to the Daily Signal, though, my views may thankfully be skewed. Of the 20 doctors in Congress, 16 are Republicans. Moreover, with Obamacare, even the most arrogant of modern young doctors are beginning to realize that, while they don’t mind controlling other people, they’re less than thrilled when the government comes in and tries to control them. Here’s hoping that Obamacare causes more doctors to wise up.

Reporters lie for Hamas

A veteran reporter for reliably Leftist outlets (AP, NPR, NBC, CBS) has written an article starkly stating what we Israel supporters have long known to be true: In addition to bias, laziness, and access issues, the main problem with the reliability of news coming out of Gaza is the fact that Hamas intimidated reporters into lying:

typical news report from Gaza a few days ago described the destruction, interviewed Gaza civilians who related in heartbreaking detail the deaths of their relatives and loss of their belongings, and listed the hardships and travail the people are facing because of the Israeli military operation. Halfway through the long story was a single paragraph that said that Israel claims Hamas fires rockets from civilian areas. This is how journalists protect themselves from charges that they didn’t tell “the other side.”

But in fact, they didn’t. They didn’t report from Gaza about where the Hamas rocket launchers were, where the ammunition is stored, where the openings of the tunnels are—if they mention the tunnels at all, which in this case, they didn’t.

[snip]

sides the budgetary limitations, news organizations often hesitate to send reporters into Gaza at all because of the constant danger, and not from Israeli airstrikes. In 2007, BBC reporter Alan Johnston was kidnapped by Palestinian militants and held for more than three months. Many other foreign journalists were kidnapped there and held for a day or two around that time. There have been no kidnappings recently, but the message was clear—foreigners are fair game. The message was heard and understood. For lack of an alternative, news organizations began to rely more and more on local stringers, giving the regime considerable leverage through intimidation. It’s expected that news organizations will deny all this—it’s part of the dance.

On many occasions, frightened stringers have pleaded to have their bylines taken off stories. Some have been “evacuated” from Gaza for a time for their own safety, after an article critical of the regime was published or broadcast. Families have been spirited out for a while.

Read the rest here. The only problem with the article is that it appears in The Tower, which is a great publication, but one that lacks the reach of outlets such as HuffPo. We can all help, though, by using social media to give this article the widest reach possible.

Arabs and the conquest problem

One of my conservative(ish) Facebook friends came out this weekend with a post parroting The New York Times to the effect that the problem in the Middle East is that Israel will not cooperate with the two-state solution so as to give the Palestinians their homeland. It took time, but I shut down that thread by walking everyone through a few facts: Palestinian rejection of the two-state solution, the morality of self defense, Hamas’s founding mandate to kill all Jews, the fact that Palestinians already have their state because Jordan was given to the Palestinians in 1924, and, lastly, the fact that Palestinians have a minimal historic tie to the land.

That last point was reinforced for me by Joshua Gerlenter’s reminder that, to the extent Islam spread by conquest, it’s displaced indigenous people all over Africa, Europe, and Asia for thousands of years.

Europe’s gradual decline into anti-Semitic appeasement

Jeffrey Goldberg is a Progressive who, when his politics aren’t directly involved, often gets things right. A case in point is a recent Bloomberg column he authored accusing Europe of a passive, indecent surrender to the forces of evil roaming European streets. He’s not calling out the active anti-Semites; he’s calling out Europe’s increasingly large cadre of go-along-to-get along people, those who just hope that the Islamists among them will leave them alone.

Goldberg’s starting point is an incident at a Sainsbury’s super market in England. Anti-Israel protesters promised to invade the store, so local management instantly stripped the shelves of all kosher foods (most of which didn’t come from Israel). Although Sainsbury’s corporate management returned the products to the shelf and apologized, Goldberg understands that something very important happened at that local store (emphasis mine):

he Sainsbury’s incident is disturbing not so much for what it says about the nature of European anti-Israelism, but for what it says about the broader response within Europe to forces of intolerance and hatred. Employees of the Sainsbury’s branch in central London seemed to have understood, based on an accurate reading of recent events, that anti-Israel activists posed a threat to their store, and perhaps to their own physical well-being. And so the manager made a decision to surrender to the mob and engage in what could only be called an act of self-preservational, but objectively anti-Semitic, preemption.

Cowering of this sort is a sign that a country is losing the ability to stand for the values it professes to maintain. In the U.K., it is also a sign that a society hasn’t fully grappled with the radical intolerance exhibited by some of its citizens.

It will be a great day when Goldberg and other fundamentally decent people like him understand that the Leftism they espouse — with its moral relativism, multiculturalism, and hatred for white, Anglo-Saxon culture — is what destroyed England’s (and is destroying America’s) “ability to stand for the values it professes to maintain.”

Hollywood’s heavy hitters support Israel

Some really big names in Hollywood have signed a letter supporting Israel and castigating Hamas. All I can say is good for them!! The letter includes the normal mush-mouthed demand for peace, but it has the courage to target Hamas’s stated raison d’etre: killing Jews.

ALS, ice buckets, and coffee — social coercion for other people’s charities

You’ve no doubt heard by now about the ice bucket challenge, which has successfully raised awareness of ALS. Or, more accurately, it’s raised tens of millions for an ALS charity. It’s unclear how many people are actually more educated now about that devastating disease.

If you haven’t heard, the ice bucket challenge goes this way: You dump a bucket of ice on your head for the charity, donate money to the ALS charity ($100 is the recommended amount), and assign three friends who must do the same. (It started out that you told the friends “Donate or suffer the ice bucket,” but it’s morphed into people video taping themselves being iced and donating money.)

I’m a curmudgeon. ALS is a laudatory cause, but it’s not my cause. I tend to donate to military organizations and pro-Israel organizations. As I see it, it’s my money, and I get to spend it as I will. I’ve received two ice bucket challenges to date and have ignored both. I’m not the only one with this curmudgeonly streak:

I don't always donate to charity

Because of the subtle social bullying behind the ice bucket challenge, I was fascinated by a story out of Florida. For 10 hours, in St. Petersburg, Florida, people were “paying it forward,” meaning that they were paying for the order of the person behind them in line. One man eventually put a stop to it, and he did it deliberately for a reason I found compelling (emphasis mine):

Peter Schorsch, a blogger, drove to the Starbucks drive-thru in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Thursday after hearing about the “pay-it-forward’ phenomenon there that ended with customer No. 458.

After he ordered two Venti Mocha Frappuccinos, the barista told him his first drink had been paid for by the previous customer and asked if he would like to pay for the next customer.

“I told him no,” Schorsch, of St. Petersburg, told ABC News. “When the barista asks you to pay it forward, it is no longer spontaneous.”

[skip]

“I just don’t want to be forced into doing something,” said Schorsch, who is also a part-time political consultant. “This is turning into a social phenomenon and I had to put an end to it.”

When baristas ask customers to pay for the next customer, some patrons simply oblige out of guilt, not generosity, he said.

[snip]

“It just seems like a ‘First World’ problem to me. Middle-class people sitting in their cars at a drive-thru, sipping a $5 drink and worrying about someone breaking the ranks,” Schorsch said.

“There is a little humor being a contrarian, but I think if you really want to help, find someone that obviously needs help, like the homeless,” Schorsch said.

“Also, I got a $6 Venti Frappuccino. Someone might just get a $2 coffee,” Schorsch said. “This is unfair to that person who paid for me.”

Exactly!

A Marine’s kick-ass message to ISIS

It’s “only” one former Marine, but it’s still heartening to know that at least one segment of American society still has a can-do, won’t-back-down, love-my-country, I-support-freedom attitude.

(The “only” in front of “one Marine” comes about because of that wonderful line JKB quoted from an old movie:

I was just watching an old movie, Rendezvous, with William Powell and Rosalind Russell. It’s a WWI spy movie with Ms. Russell’s character the persistent suitor of Powell’s character running down a spy ring. She follows him into a hotel where the spy ring operates. Bullying her way past the front desk she reveals her uncle is the Asst. Sec of War and threatens: “I’ll have him send the Army and Navy. And a Marine, if he’s needed.”

An unusually powerful Michael Ramirez cartoon

This cartoon is on point and shattering even by Michael Ramirez’s own high standards.
The threat

A very funny video about American blacks that highlights the horrible thing mainstream American culture has done to them

Happy face sad faceCaped Crusader sent me a video that simultaneously made me want to laugh and to cry.   Of course, it’s funny that the guys being questioned by the camera man cannot come up with the answer when the answer is embedded in in the question. It elicits the same slightly smug laughter that I always felt watching Jay Leno’s “Jaywalking.” “Boy, those yokels sure are dumb! Ha! Ha! Ha!”

 

Watching these guys, though, with the backdrop of Ferguson in my mind quickly killed my laughter, though, and simply depressed me. I got even more depressed when Tom Elia emailed this little tidbit: Ferguson, Missouri, which in 25 years has shifted from being a slightly white minority enclave of St. Louis to a primarily black majority community has as its second biggest revenue source the fines and penalties paid into its municipal court:

A report issued just last week by the nonprofit lawyer’s group ArchCity Defenders notes that in the court’s 36 three-hour sessions in 2013, it handled 12,108 cases and 24,532 warrants. That is an average of 1.5 cases and three warrants per Ferguson household. Fines and court fees for the year in this city of just 21,000 people totaled $2,635,400.

The Daily Beast cites the above data to show that it’s in the police’s best interests to have an adversarial relationship with residents in Ferguson, and that’s true. But it’s also a reminder that, since the Civil Rights movement effectively came to an end in 1964 when the Civil Rights Act federalized the movement, it’s become big business to keep blacks institutionally victimized.  Worse, it’s a business in which blacks are complicit.

Let me say here and now that there is absolutely nothing genetically inherent in blacks that leads them to their disproportionate representation amongst the ranks of the violent, the uneducated, and the fatherless. These are cultural traits, not hereditary ones. Moreover, contrary to multicultural mythology, cultural is not fixed. It can change.

The problem we face now is that, since the 1960s “Great Society,” the political and social culture in America, all of which hew Left, have consistently told blacks, “You don’t need to change. You’re perfect as you are. It’s we, the whites, who need to change.” In other words, blacks are the ultimate fulfillment of the self-esteem movement that started in California and picked up steam to infect the United States.

The self-esteem movement tells children that, no matter what, they’re wonderful. It sets no goals, offers no examples, makes no demands. It just says, “You’re wonderful.”

What sounds wonderful in theory proves to be disastrous in fact. Rather than creating a “wonderful” generation of self-confident, moral, self-disciplined, ambitious, strong young people, we’ve created a generation of self-satisfied yet insecure, morally weak, undisciplined parasites. Not all of them, of course, with those saved from the movement having either been home schooled or raised within a home environment that hewed to more traditional values.

Telling many of the latter type of homes are filled with people who, in Charles Murray’s words, don’t preach what they practice.  Within their homes, they drive their children to succeed; in the public forum, though, they dare not tell anyone, especially minorities, that the secret to success in America is to work hard at school, to work hard at work, and to stay on the right side of the law.

American blacks are the ne plus ultra of the self-esteem movement. All criticism of them is banned, including self-criticism. They cannot reform their self-destructive behaviors, because they have been programmed to be narcissistic: they are completely armored against their sins, so armored that they cannot even modify their behavior to blunt what they see as the consequences of inimical behavior from their “enemy” – with the enemy being all people and institutions that are not black and that, therefore, can be blamed for the desperate plight in which American blacks find themselves.

I wrote the above words on Friday, meaning to publish them on Friday and then, when that fell through, meaning to publish them on Saturday. Clearly, I missed both of my self-imposed deadlines. My first duty is to my family, and my family has been demanding. In a way, that’s a good thing, because I had the opportunity to add to my thoughts on this subject.

Tomorrow, the Watcher’s Council will publish a forum asking council members to predict whether a grand jury will indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who allegedly shot Michael Brown. I’m going to give you a preview of the answer I sent the Watcher, since it’s really a continuation of the thoughts I was developing here:

I hate to say this, but I think whether Officer Wilson is indicted depends on the jury’s racial composition. I can’t say what a majority white jury would do, because I don’t have the evidence before me. However, sadly, I have no doubt whatsoever that a majority black grand jury would issue an indictment for first degree murder.

This leads me to a different issue. Back in 1939, when Hattie McDaniel was the first black woman to win an Oscar for best supporting actress as Mammy in Gone With The Wind, she made a brief speech:

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests: This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of their awards, for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble; and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything that I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel, and may I say thank you and God bless you.

It later turned out that the studio wrote those words for McDaniel, especially the bit about her sincere “hope I shall always be a credit to my race,” a line that deeply humiliated her.

I can understand McDaniel’s humiliation about having any words put in her mouth, especially words that emphasized her race, but I’ve never found the notion of being a credit to ones race distasteful. Perhaps that’s because I’m Jewish, and we Jews, like the blacks, have always been the “other” race.

What one Jew does always has the potential to be a negative stereotype applied to all people. Thus, I found Bernie Madoff’s frauds disgusting, because they destroyed people’s livelihoods, but I also found them embarrassing because, as a Jew, I hate it when a fellow Jew feeds into a negative Jewish stereotype.

One of the things I find so incomprehensible about modern American blacks is that they do not impose standards on their fellow blacks. There is no expectation of a self-correcting mechanism. If you’re a black who does bad things, you’re not someone who brings shame on the black community. You are, instead, just another victim, along with the black teens you’ve killed, the Korean or Indian store owners you robbed and pistol whipped, and the whites you injured or murdered in a “knock out” game. The black community, rather than denouncing a drugged-out, weaponed-up, murderous black teen as a disgrace to the race is embraced and has his image printed on t-shirts.

Thinking about it, what I’ve just said isn’t a different issue at all. It explains why I’m certain that a majority- or all-black grand jury would indict the Ferguson police officer in the blink of an eye. As far as they’re concerned, blacks are always the victims no matter how degraded or violent their behavior. And if it’s always someone else’s fault, an indictment against whichever “someone else” happens to be available is a no-brainer. Racial pride, rather than bringing with it high standards, means no standards whatsoever.

I wrote the above words about violence, but they apply with equal weight to education — a concept that has me circling back to the video that opens this post.  America has never heeded Frederick Douglas’s words just to let the black man be:

Frederick Douglas Do Nothing With Us

Instead, having transported African-Americans to this shore, we’ve meddled relentlessly, not just with their persons, but with their culture.  What began as an enslavement of their bodies has continued as an enslavement of their souls.  They are as chained by this perverted “self esteem movement” as they ever were by whips and overseers.  Because they are relentlessly told that they can do no wrong, they are forever foreclosed from the insights and opportunities that would enable them to do things right.

I’ll leave you with Bill Whittle’s indignation about the realities of black life — both as victim and as criminal — about the political system that refuses to acknowledge this reality, and about the race mongers who, along with prisons and townships, profit mightily from a black culture willfully denied insights about itself so that it can change its culture for the better:

Fundamentally, it is not racist to tell African-Americans: “You are just like me. Your life will always be buffeted by forces beyond your control, but I believe that, like me, you came into the world with drive, intelligence, and the capacity to be a moral person. I agree that many of you live in desperately awful environments, but you have it within in you to rise above that and move beyond it. Study hard, work hard, obey the law, and don’t let cretins, whether in your community or in law enforcement or anywhere else, cause you to fall off the path of hard work and righteousness.”

It is racist, though, to tell blacks: “You’re black, so you’re helpless.”

The Bookworm Beat: August 22, 2014 illustrated edition — the best one ever

My friend Caped Crusader, who has a real knack for finding pictures that are worth their weight in thousands of words, worked overtime the last couple of days, and sent me an amazing batch of cartoons and posters taking on the world today. Consider this your “weekend funnies” edition.

To begin with, there’s something about Leftism that induces amnesia:

Ferguson amnesia

Obama amnesia

Obama’s golf game makes irresistible fodder, not only for people who have noticed that he’s checking out of governing, but for political cartoonists who need a good image to highlight that checking out. Now all we need to have happen is for a killer rabbit to wander across the golf course. (And wouldn’t it be great if it had the name tag “Isis” hanging around its neck?)

Standing in my line

If I had a son

Headlines today

ISIS hiding on the golf course

That's where I left my putter

Presidents during a crisis

A few pointed pictures say a lot more about the right to bear arms than even one of my longest essays would:

Sexy women

gun owners and self defense

Military style guns

Guns in schools

Who we defend with guns

Perhaps because race is about color, and color is a visual thing, posters also tend to expose the worst excesses of the Left and race:

white people are white

The death of African Americans

It’s also easy to use a few pictures or a punchy quotation to expose all the fallacies of the Leftist approach to the economy and to reveal the wisdom of the conservative approach:

Democrat promises and deliveries

Essential notions of society

Bono supports the free market

I could (and will) write a whole essay about the wonders of the internet and pictures when it comes to understanding radical Islam and those who do (and those who won’t) stand against her:

Jews do not threaten Muslims

Peace through Hope strategy

Don't stand in the Jews way

Islamofascists want to kill you

And finally, we round out our image gallery with random wisdom about Obama the lying liar, illegal immigration, the lack of wisdom in today’s world, and rules for living smart:

No one trusts Obama

Good immigrants and bad immigrants

World IQ over time

It's called whining

Robert Louis Stevenson on the cards of life

The suggested list of books for a high school government class

Rear view of class raising handsIf you’re wondering why the younger generation blindly supported Obama through two elections; why they are reflexively hostile to conservatives and Republicans; and why, even though Obama has dismally failed them, they are incapable of considering another, less intrusive, approach to governance, just contemplate the list of books a local high school Government teacher recommended for the class’s mandatory reading requirement:

scan0009

scan0007

I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking most (or all) of those books hew Left, way, way, way Left.

Since the list is supposed to consist of suggestions only, I’m trying to think of a few counter suggestions.  I need books that present conservative approaches to government and economics. Moreover, to the extent that a high schooler is going to be reading the book, I think my counter suggestion should be eminently readable and entertaining.  Of course, since I’m trying desperately to think of something quickly, before the weekend is over, I’m pulling a big, fat blank.

Still, keeping my requirements in mind (accessible, entertaining, easy-to-read), my top choice for a suggestion is Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Change, which I think is one of the most readable political books out there. Goldberg has an incredibly deft touch. He makes his points lightly, often humorously, without ever resorting to browbeating.

What do you guys think?

The Bookworm Beat — August 22, 2014 mid-day edition edition

Woman writingClimate change hysteria will make you crazy

We all know that it’s wrong to laugh at those who are mentally ill, but doesn’t it seem like there should be an exception for those whose particular mental illness takes the form of aggressive, obsessive climate change mania? Tim Blair’s brilliant fisking of an article about a climate change Nazi who’s depressed is just too funny to ignore.

Progressives continue to try to make futile any resistance to their “scientific” dogma

Scarily, the climate change Nazis — the ones who wish to end all scientific debate in favor of ideologically dictated theories — are on the move again. Having successful demonized any challenges to their theories (never mind that virtually all of their predictions re climate have failed to materialize), is a movement to federalize “science” instruction in schools along Progressive lines.

Sarah Palin, living rent free inside Leftist heads

Speaking of crazy people, The Guardian wrote an article saying that Sarah Palin likes the new movie The Giver because it comes out strongly against a seemingly beneficent Nanny State. That’s not the crazy part. The crazy part is the unbelievably rage-filled, completely maddened comments that people left in response to Sarah Palin’s movie review. Here’s just one example, plucked off the top of the comment pile:

“…Palin also praises Streep for taking part in a movie….”
If Streep ever gets asked about this Palin-endorsement in an interview and she somehow manages to hide her contempt for the grifting, snake-oil selling, intellectual-capacity-of-a-tree-stump, lying, race-baiting, bullshitting, couldn’t-write-her-name-in-the-dirt-with-a-stick, idiot then Meryl will cement her standing as the greatest actress in the world.

Clearly, Sarah Palin’s doing something right if, by hewing to arguments that as little as 30 years ago were mainstream American concepts, she can drive them so insane.

And another thing that’s wrong with Obama….

While I’m on the subject of vituperative dislike for an opposing politician, I recommend a strong round of applause for David Horowitz’s epic rant against Barack Obama. Unlike the Palin haters, who exist in a fantasy land, Horowitz is helped in his rant by the fact that he has facts on his side, rather than just inchoate anger and slander. This is not a post that will convert the unbelievers, but it will make the believers feel good.

America plays the price for Obama’s refusal to recognize terrorism

Andrew McCarthy has resurrected a six year old column in which he essentially predicted precisely what has happened: a resurgent Islam that Obama is incapable of dealing with, since he treats all terrorism as a form of crime, rather than an act of war. (McCarthy also notes that Obama has helped resurgent Islam along with his support for the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamists.) I cannot remember where I read it, but I definitely read that Obama intends to treat the Foley murder — another act of war — as a mere crime to be sucked into our dysfunctional criminal legal system.

Unlike Obama, Chuck Hagel is slowing figuring out that ISIS is not a mere criminal problem

Vengeance is ours, sayeth Hamas

Yesterday, I wrote:

Something very, very big happened in Gaza last night: Israel assassinated three of the highest ranking Hamas leaders. Dayenu. But the enormously skillfully strike, which could have been achieved only with extraordinary knowledge, reveals something that should strike a shattering blow at Hamas: “The killing of the three constituted an indication that something in the intelligence discipline at the very top of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades has cracked.”

Today, Hamas enacted swift vengeance against those it alleges were the leakers:  it summarily executed around 18 Palestinians.  My own suspicion is that these 18 were just random victims, killed solely to instill fear in all other Palestinians.

Hillary: Hamas enabler

It was not a coincidence that the Hamas tunnels came into being during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State:

In a bombshell revelation, Dennis Ross, the senior Mideast policy adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from 2009 to 2011, has admitted that it was he who was assigned the task of pressuring Israel to ease up on its military blockade of Gaza.

“I argued with Israeli leaders and security officials, telling them they needed to allow more construction materials, including cement, into Gaza so that housing, schools and basic infrastructure could be built,” Ross revealed in the Washington Post on August 10. “They countered that Hamas would misuse it, and they were right.”

Read the rest here.

“Israel, you’re not alone”

It’s not great music, but it’s such a great sentiment, I have to share a Christian group’s promise to Israel:

Israel You’re Not Alone – Official Music Video from HaYovel on Vimeo.

Watcher’s Council nominations for August 21, 2014

Watcher's Council logoThe voting is closed, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read the wonderful nominations for this week’s Watcher’s Council vote. Also, be sure to check out the forum, which looks at events in Ferguson.

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

The Bookworm Beat — the awesome, very long and interesting August 21, 2014 edition

Woman writing

In self-defense, you shoot to kill.  End of story.

One of the big issues that’s agitating Leftists to an extreme degree with regard to Michael Brown’s death is the fact that, even though he was unarmed, he was shot six times. The Left, raised on an endless diet of violent movies, is pretty sure that one shot from the action hero is enough to bring down any bad guy, either by killing him instantly or disabling him completely. Ah! If only that were true.

In the real world, especially a real world that includes 6’4″, 300 lb guys with violence in their eyes, fury in their fists, and forward momentum in their bodies, you shoot and shoot and shoot until the bad guy is completely, manifestly unable to harm you. (See Russ Vaughn’s article for more on the deadly reality of “unarmed” men.)

You don’t need to take my word for it, though. Instead, listen to my friend Mike McDaniel, who is one of the foremost gun bloggers in America. Writing at The Truth About Guns, he explains just how much effort it actually takes to disable someone. By the way, we should all be grateful for this in case we ever accidentally find ourselves in the line of fire. The body’s resilience doesn’t just slow down taking out bad guys; it also helps good guys.

You won’t be surprised to learn that Mike, who is a former police officer, has been following the Ferguson situation very closely, with special attention to what happened that fateful night. You can read his musings at his blog, Stately McDaniel Manor.

He’s the Clark Kent/Superman of Apple Computers

Lest you think that all Apple employees are geeky, faux-hip, Leftist young people, this story ought to disabuse you of that notion: A reservist who was called up from his job at Apple saved a British general’s life by throwing himself in the path of an Afghani shooter, with the reservist firing his weapon as he went. The fact that he was wearing a bullet-proof vest in no way detracts from his heroism, since a lot of vital areas in his body, including his head and the major arteries in his legs were exposed.  Indeed, he was shot six times, taking two bullets to the leg, one bullet to the shoulder, and three to that life-saving vest.

This was the same attack that resulted in the death of Major General Harold Greene, the highest ranking American officer to be killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. You won’t be surprised, of course, to learn that Barack Obama couldn’t be bothered to attend Gen. Greene’s funeral.

Do I need to remind any of you that Obama is Commander in Chief of the American military? I’m pretty sure that George Washington, the original Commander in Chief, would have ridden from Virginia, through the snow, on horseback to attend such a funeral. And no, a general’s life is not of more worth than a private’s, but the fact is that the military is a hierarchical enterprise and Greene, by virtue of his rank, was very close to Obama in that hierarchy.

Israel scored a game-changer against Hamas last night

Something very, very big happened in Gaza last night: Israel assassinated three of the highest ranking Hamas leaders. Dayenu. But the enormously skillfully strike, which could have been achieved only with extraordinary knowledge, reveals something that should strike a shattering blow at Hamas: “The killing of the three constituted an indication that something in the intelligence discipline at the very top of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades has cracked.”

Although this is a stunning intelligence coup, in the short-term expect escalated violence towards Israel as Hamas leadership tries to prove that there isn’t a gaping hole in its terrorist command structure.

A much-read British newspaper sounds the tocsin against radical Islam

I have a vague memory from our last trip to England of seeing the Express lying around all over the place in underground trains running in the afternoon and evening. People would just pick up abandoned copies and read them as they rode along. I hope I’m correct in this memory, because today’s Express ran an editorial every person in the Western world should read: “Stop blaming Israel and wake up: The black flag of jihad is the REAL threat to the world.

Marx famously said “religion is the opiate of the people,” but in modern England, most of Europe, and too many parts of America, political correctness is the opiate. Citizens in those nations have been blinkered and gagged, leaving them unable to recognize the politically incorrect evil that is radical Islam and, if they recognize it, incapable of speaking up. Unless they can be brought to realize that there is a cancer unleashed in the Middle East and growing in virulence in the West, their opiate addiction will kill them — indeed, it will kill all of us.

William Tecumseh Sherman had the right idea — and Israel seems to be learning from history

Victor Davis Hanson resurrects the good reputation of the much maligned William Tecumseh Sherman, explaining that he was “an attritionist, not an annihilationist.” He understood that one must undermine one’s enemies to win and to that end he pursued a three-pronged strategy that finally brought the civil war to an end:

War in his mind was not a struggle between militaries so much as between the willpower of entire peoples, distant though they be from the battlefield. One chief aim was iconic. Sherman sought to capture cities or traverse holy ground that might offer his forces symbolic lessons that transcended even strategic considerations.

[snip]

Marching through the heart of Georgia to Savannah also reminded the Confederacy that it could not stop a Union army from going pretty much where it pleased — even into the heretofore untouched southern heartlands.

[snip]

His [last] point was to show them that farmboys from Illinois or Ohio were just as tough fighters as Tidewater horsemen or the impoverished rural folk of northern Georgia. Sherman felt that part of the appeal of the Confederacy had been the mythology about its landed gentry, and he felt it essential to expose this as hollow and superficial; after all, he was in Georgia, while Georgian units were not in Ohio….

Sherman’s goal was to separate the population from the leadership, and turn the latter against the former. (Incidentally, the Left did the same thing when it turned the American people against the Vietnam War, even though we were achieving military victory.) To achieve this goal, Sherman did not engage in random, broad-based, genocidal terrorism. Instead, he made careful targeted strikes that hurt the people in a way that made them blame their leadership for the pain they were suffering.

VDH offers this fascinating historical data for a reason: So far, Israel has been following a similar template in Gaza against Hamas. If it can continue to do so, without getting derailed by the world’s endless opprobrium and, worse, Obama’s anti-Israel intransigence, it has a chance of demolishing Hamas just as surly as Sherman demolished the confederacy.

The moving corpses of Hamas

One of the things about opiate addiction is that it makes you stupid. You lose common sense and will listen only to the person or entity that gives you your next fix. In today’s world, the supplier is the welfare state. it gives money and, in exchange, tells the recipients that it’s impolite to notice illegal aliens, savage jihadists, and others determined to wreak havoc on the same state supplying those fixes.

The one good thing about this enforced blindness is that those who benefit from it — the cheats and murderers — get careless. Human nature being what it is, if you know that no one will ever call you on your acts and errors, why try? And that is how one ends up with the moving corpses at the funeral:

Jews speak up for Middle Eastern Christians; Christians stay stubbornly silent

Given the apocalyptic Muslim Middle East that followed closely on the heels of the disastrously managed Arab Spring, should we be at all surprised that one of the few groups to stand up for the Christians being wiped out across Muslim lands is the World Jewish Congress? As you read “Who Will Stand Up for the Christians” keep in mind that even Christians throughout the world are silent in the face of this often genocidal purging.

I suspect that part of the problem lies with the fact that so many Christian denominations (Presbyterian and Episcopalian spring to mind) have allied themselves for so long with the Palestinian cause against Israel that they cannot wrap their minds around the fact that the days of appeasing the Islamist crocodile by throwing it the bodies of Jews are over. That crocodile is hungry and it’s coming for them now. Their groveling, their apologies, and their denials will avail them nothing in this fight. At the end of the day, all they’ll have is the moral stain of having been complicit with evil long after any decent people would have recognized precisely what was taking place in the Muslim Middle East.

And now a brief word from our sponsor:  I love writing this blog, but a little remuneration goes a long way.  You can help in a few ways:  If you're buying from Amazon, use one of the Amazon links on my blog to get to that site.  All your purchases will then send a little money my way.  You can also click on the ads that irritate you on this site.  Who knows?  You might find something interesting.  Lastly, you'll see in the upper right hand corner of this blog a PayPal link.  Please feel free to contribute.  I am grateful for any amount, no matter how small.

If the anti-Israel crowd is all about human rights, why don’t they protest Turkey’s Cyprus occupation?

A month into the Israel-Hamas war, there are scads of articles pointing out what we here knew all along; namely, that anti-Zionism and anti-Israeli sentiment are nothing but very thinly disguised anti-Semitism. Every time a Jew in France or Sweden or London or America is attacked ostensibly because of the war between Hamas and Israel, a country that is not on the Jewish person’s passport, we know that this is a war against Jews, not against one allegedly poorly conducted nation.

Just because there are so many articles, though, that does not mean there isn’t room for one more, especially if it’s from Victor Davis Hanson. VDH notes that, if people really want to prove that they are for all human rights, not just the rights of Muslims who want to commit genocide against the Jews, they ought to be speaking out against the brutal Turkish occupation of Cyprus. But they’re not. Their silence amounts to a confession.

The UN’s war crimes

David French is doing yeoman’s work, relentlessly press the quite obvious point that the UN, through UNRWA, is complicit in war crimes. Or at least it’s quite obvious to anybody with a modicum of common sense and a functioning moral compass.

The immorality of the genocide against Down Syndrome

I was going to comment on Richard Dawkin’s statement that it’s “immoral” not to abort a baby with Down Syndrome. Then I saw that Peter Wehner already did a fine job. (And if you can’t get past the pay wall, do consider a digital subscription to Commentary. It’s affordable and very worth the money.)

I’m ashamed to say that, back in the day when I was having babies, if I’d learned that my baby was going to have Down Syndrome, I would have given serious consideration to an abortion and for the worst reason of all — having such a child would have been hard on me. The reason for this world view is the milieu in which I lived — West coast Democrat — but that’s not an excuse for that attitude. I didn’t know better then but, looking back, I still feel that I, a well-read, educated young woman, should have had a moral compass that knew better. The best that I can do to make amends is to advocate for life now.

A short list of Obama’s wrongdoings

There are only 821 well-sourced examples of Barack Obama’s lying, law-breaking, corruption, cronyism, hypocrisy, etc.? Funny. I would have thought there would have been a lot more.

Come Fly With Me

In the matter of travel, Attorney General Eric Holder isn’t breaking the law. He’s just taking gross advantage of American taxpayers, by flying himself and his family in private and very costly luxury, while paying only the price of coach fare, with the difference being absorbed by an increasingly beleaguered middle class.

More Progressives are noticing Obama’s clay feet

How bad is Obama? He’s so bad that even Maureen Dowd is turning her high school age mean-girl tongue on him, excoriating him for being aloof and disinterested:

His circle keeps getting more inner. He golfs with aides and jocks, and he spent his one evening back in Washington from Martha’s Vineyard at a nearly five-hour dinner at the home of a nutritional adviser and former White House assistant chef, Sam Kass.

The president who was elected because he was a hot commodity is now a wet blanket.

The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.

Almost everything else — from an all-out push on gun control after the Newtown massacre to going to see firsthand the Hispanic children thronging at the border to using his special status to defuse racial tensions in Ferguson — just seems like too much trouble.

As is the case for all those other liberals who’ve discovered that their idol has feet of base material, it’s too little, too late. They got him elected twice, and we must now live with the unfolding, unstoppable consequences at home and abroad. Also, although they’re whining at Obama, none seem to have the insight to realize that the problem isn’t just Obama — it’s them too.

It’s their relentless Leftism, their willingness to corrupt all systems to achieve their goals, their love affair with a politicized version of science, their obeisance to political correctness, and their overarching disdain for America that led us to this place. They’ll have learned nothing from this whole experience and, turning from Hillary as to (choke) “moderate”, will next place all their eggs in the Elizabeth Warren basket. Until they show repentance and remorse, I guess I’m just not that impressed when the infighting begins.

Still, some Progressives are having their “crossing the Rubicon” moments

As long-time readers of my blog know, what finally tipped me over the edge in my journey from Democrat to conservative was NPR. I simply could not accept the manifest lies it told about Israel. I also realized that, if it was wrong about Israel, I’d better investigate and see if it was right about anything else. I discovered that, while it’s sometimes right about some things, it’s mostly wrong about most things.

One American Jewish woman is making the same journey with the New York Times: She’s figured out that it lies about Israel. My bet is that her next step is to start looking with new eyes at everything the Times espouses.

Leftists try to destroy writers’ livelihoods and suppress ideas

Would it surprise you to learn that Leftists are intentionally trying to destroy book sales for conservative books? No, of course it wouldn’t. You’ve already heard about Erica Payne, the Progressive activist who was encouraging people to deface Paul Ryan’s new book. I bet you didn’t know, though, that this same mentality thrives on Amazon, where Leftists do their darndest to destroy the ratings for conservative-themed books.

Two examples are My Parents Open Carry and Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed!. It would be foolish to deny that many of the comments are clever, albeit mean and ill-informed, but it’s those hundreds of negative stars from people who have never read the book, and who couldn’t be counted on for a fair review in any event, that’s so shameful.

A California Republican shames Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown

Huge kudos to California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who not only refused Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown’s invitation to a luncheon fete for Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto, but who also wrote Brown a letter dressing him down soundly for wining and dining Nieto, even as an American Marine rots in a Mexican prison for the crime of having gotten stuck on a one-way road to Mexico with legal American guns in his car.

This is his letter. (You can click on the image to make it larger.)

Donnelly letter to Jerry Brown re Mexican President

Water, water everywhere, Nor any drop to drink

Central Valley farmers are complaining that, in drought stricken California, San Franciscans are getting preferential treatment when it comes to water allotments. It’s not complicated: San Franciscans are reliably Progressive and vote for Nancy Pelosi; Central Valley farmers are not and do not.  Who cares that the farmers grow the food that feeds the nation?

The unholy union of government and big business

Conservatives fear big government. Progressives fear big corporations. Sometimes they’re both right.

The Perry indictment just gets uglier

California, of course, is not the only state with morally corrupt Democrats. As the risible indictment against Gov. Rick Perry shows, when Democrats have the political bit in their teeth anywhere, they’ll use it unwisely. And in case you thought the complaint was bad, the process was even worse: The grand jury that issued the indictment was stacked.

Fish cannons and turkey drops

Read this story about fish cannons and then you’ll appreciate why it irresistibly reminded my friend Wolf (who has taken a break from blogging at Wolf Howling) of one of the most exquisitely funny moments ever in TV comedy:

Even Taylor Swift has been sucked into a astroturf race row

I’ve never been a big fan of Taylor Swift’s music because she has always used her often whiny songs as kiss-and-tell vehicles for her failed relationships. Every song bad-mouths a past boyfriend, which I think is tacky.

Other than that, I think she’s a lovely young woman. She’s lovely to look at, always dresses charmingly and tastefully, and she’s never been involved in a scandal. This last seems to have come about, not because Swift is lucky, but because she lives a decent life, flying back to her home after every concert, rather than frequenting clubs and parties.

Blameless Taylor Swift, though, has found herself embroiled in, of all things, a scandal accusing her of racism. That it’s a scandal manufactured out of whole cloth makes no difference to the race mongers. They think they’ve found a target by pointing to a video in which she is unable to twerk alongside some black women.

Of course, if you watch the video, you’ll see that the whole point is that Swift shows various dance genres (including some brilliant hip hop/break dancing) that she’s unable to do because she’s a spaz who just enjoys “shaking.” It’s not great music, but it’s charming and only a race hustler running out of material could see it as grounds for complaint:

Now you see it, now you don’t

I love sleight of hand and card tricks, so was thrilled to find a video of someone who is just amazingly good:

Pictures

(With my usual heartfelt thanks to Caped Crusader.)

Islam taking back what it thinks is its own

Conservativsm is the bulwark against savagery

Modern education

Back off or the community gets it

Liberal logic and guns

Wants more government

You voted for big government

Comparing Israel and the Palestinians

Life on Mars

Give me your illegal aliens

Declassify everything

Obama doesn't test well